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Khepri

by Bernard Doyle
Khepri was the one of the class of Egyptian gods associated with a particular animal. Khepri was the sacred scarab. The scarab is a type of dung beetle common throughout Egypt. The word Kheper means "scarab" in Egyptian and Khepri was also known as Khepera.

The scarab's habit of laying eggs in animal dung as well as the bodies of dead scarabs was noticed by the Egyptians. The subsequent hatching of the eggs from this seemingly unpromising material lead to the Egyptians associating the scarab with renewal, rebirth and resurrection. The scarab's habit of rolling up dung into spheres and pushing it across the ground was also noted by the Ancient Egyptians. Khepri was often associated with the Sun and was conceived as a gigantic scarab rolling the Sun before him across the sky. The renewal and rebirth associated with the scarab also came into play here. Khepri renewed the Sun each day before rolling it above the horizon and carried it safely through the other world after sunset to renew it the next day. Khepri was variously represented as a scarab, a man with the face of a scarab and a man whose head was surmounted by a scarab.


Article details:

  • Also known as:
    Kheper
    Khepera
    Khepri
    Chepri

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